Dec. 31

Today is the SWMBO’s (She Who Must Be Obeyed, pronounced: Swimbo) birthday.  The day began with her opening the gifts she had picked out, I paid for, and she supervised the wrapping of.

She now is indulging in her favorite past time: watching Jewelry Shows have their “Year End Closeout’s”.  I had hoped to spend the day with her, but…if I had to endure comments on another hideous ring (some resembled rings that had adorned the digit of some Evil Overlord).   Here I am and there she is.

The unwrapped gift, I promised to cook for the Octogenarians (her parents) 25 times in 2014, assume more house cleaning chores at home and wash the car on request.

My favorite part of the day, aside from the  shrimp and angel hair dinner I have planned, is getting her card.  Card exchange is a throw back to our early days together; I worked three jobs and she commuted 50 miles to see me and there was never any extra money.  We would select the best shop for cards in St. Augustine (not Hallmark) and set about to find the perfect card.

There was always one, just one, that expressed the love, or the precise bit of humor that fit the day.  She picked a card for me and I for her (Valentine’s, Easter, Christmas, needing a smile) and on birthdays, like today I will pick a card just right for her; I’ll slip it in its envelope and hand it to her.  She will smile, maybe giggle, give me a hug and we’ll put the card back and go for coffee.  We always leave the shops hand-in-hand.

Best part of the day.  Happy Birthday Luv.

Dad’s Family Jewels



Malachi Bleau Moore, Sr. (Grampy Moore) was my Dad’s dad.  At age 14 he had a third grade education, the family thought he was over educated; he was the oldest of 12 siblings (another Family Jewel story); he provided much of the family’s cash income ($.25/day), earned with a gun (he could shoot and hit anything he could see) and he had a remarkable view of the world.


At age 19, Grampy had a leg up on most of the Kentucky recruits, he could sign his own name on the US Army’s paperwork; twelve weeks later he was on his way to France.  Two years of bad, if any, food, mud and death; he had a tempered but still remarkable view of the world.


At age 23, Grampy was a new father, began building his home (yeah, he milled every plank, drove every nail, he was one of those) drove the horse drawn trolley through Evansville, Indiana and made his “shine” in the basement of city hall.  Later he had to surrender the horses for a bus, his only son (Mallie B. Moore Jr., my Dad) would go to war (WWII) and come home.  He would see his four grandchildren born and grow.  Grampy Moore had an aged, wizened, tempered and incredibly simple view of the world.  He shared this with me and I’ll share it with you.


The World, with All Its Many Parts according to Grampy


There once was a very lazy swallow (Grampy always told stories).  Fall was coming and all the other swallows were saying their good-byes to the low hung branches and shrubs as they gathered to make their flight South; except the lazy swallow, we’ll call him Lazy for short.  He thought, it’s not that cold, winds were soft, I can stay here.  I will have the best nest and it is already made.  This is the best of all worlds.


Two weeks later…there was a very hard freeze and Lazy began to question his choices, yep, it was time to leave.  Not far from the best of all nests in a great branch, Lazy realized his wings were frozen and he was falling.


“The shame of it all, being so lazy, and now I’m going to die.”  He survived the fall, nothing broken.  “Well maybe I’ll make it, I’ll be OK.”, he thought to himself.

The temperature dropped.


Lazy could barely move his head his wings were out of the question, as his eyes began to close, he saw the doors of a big barn in front of him, but it was just too far away.  “I’m done.”


Out of the barn walked a big Morgan, a beautiful working horse, he stopped for a moment and emptied his bowels, right on Lazy.


“This is as bad as it gets, too lazy to fly South, freezing 0n a nameless farm and now buried under a pile of manure.”  Lazy was getting ready to die.


It was just then that Lazy noticed that the manure was warm, he was thawing out, there were seeds in this stuff and worms were digging their way to enjoy the warm.  “I’m OK, I’m gonna make it.”  And Lazy was so happy he burst into song.


The old barn cat heard the singing and dug through the dung to find its origin.  Lazy was soon but a memory.


There are three morals to this story.


First: not everyone that shits on you is an enemy.


Second: not everyone that takes the shit off is a friend.


Third, and most important; if you are happy, even in a pile of shit, keep your big mouth shut.

Three simple ways to fill your Christmas with love and wisdom

Three simple ways to fill your Christmas with love and wisdom

1. Give special love to those closest to heaven – children and the elderly. Stop and listen and really engage with the elderly and play, play, play with the children. The best gift you can give is always love, followed closely by time.

2. Walk somewhere quiet and love yourself. Find 10 minutes even amongst the hustle and bustle of everything to walk alone, listen to music, repeat an affirmation – be in silent love with yourself. Be the example of the way you want others to love you by loving yourself that way.

3. Laugh. Let yourself enjoy the moment. Try for one day to leave all the things you have to do or are waiting to do and just be there in the moment, in the present moment and fill it with your engaged heart.

Wishing you all the peace and love of the season.  Quote from the Meditation Society of Australia